With this year being an election year, I’ve decided to go on a rant. I do not belong to any political party. I fiercely maintain my independence when it comes to voting in elections. In the past I’ve voted for both Democrat and Republican candidates. I voted for Reagan and I voted for Clinton. I voted for Bush senior and I voted for Obama. I vote for who I think is best for my country.
However, this election is different. This time I will not vote for any Republican candidate at any level of government. Why? It seems the Republican Party has declared me the enemy. What did I do to deserve this?
First some background. I retired from the United States Army in 1994. I spent nearly 20 years of my life defending my country, putting my life on the line every day, willing to die to protect what I hold dear. For the last 12 years my day job has been a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service . Together that is over 30 years of serving my country in uniform. And as a letter carrier I belong to the letter carriers’ union. According to the GOP, this is a double no-no.
In 2006, President Bush signed a GOP bill called the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. What this bill did was force the Postal Service to fund 75 years of health benefits in only 10 years’ time to the tune of 5.5 BILLION dollars a year. No other government institution, no other public or private company is required to do this. Because of the economic downturn, the USPS has not had the finances to meet this onerous obligation and has defaulted on this payment twice. If not for this egregious raid on the Postal Service treasury, the USPS would continue to be a profitable institution. The Republican led congress is totally responsible for the financial instability of the USPS; not lower mail volume, not the internet, not the union, and not high gas prices.
Now, the GOP has made it part of their official party platform to destroy the United States Postal Service as it exists today. The reason is the “financial instability?” facing the Postal Service; that same instability I described above. The Postal Service is the oldest running and most trusted institution of the US Government. It delivers the mail to nearly EVERY address in the country and now the Republican Party wants to gut it by laying off workers, “busting” the unions, and eventually privatizing mail delivery. Republican legislation caused the financial problems facing the USPS, and now Republicans are using the current financial problem as a reason to divide and destroy it. What did I do to deserve this?
My night job is owner of a mail order website, www.MyBestHeadphones.com. As a business owner, I rely on the Postal Service for me to be profitable. Anyone who has ever tried to sell retail on the internet knows the profit margins are slim to start with. Mailing my headphones through the US mail system is cheaper than the alternatives and allows me a small margin of profit. If I had to use a private company whose rates are higher, I could not compete. Thousands of other businesses would face the same scenario. When Republicans say they are the party of business, they mean “Big Business”, not us little guys. What did I do to deserve this?